Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, and is the only major city on two continents – Asia and Europe. European Istanbul is divided into old and modern sections by the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosporus Strait. The old section lies south of the Golden Horn, and the modern section lies to the north. Beautiful mosques form the skyline of the old area. The narrow cobblestone lanes wind through hilly areas to link government and commercial areas with parks, squares and residential areas. The old section also includes a huge covered bazaar with about 400 shops. The modern part is the city’s main business area. Modern hotels and office buildings form the skyline there.
Caracas is in Venezuela and is one of the most modern cities in Latin America. Since the 1950s, many new high-rise office and apartment buildings have been erected. This construction boom and a rapidly growing population have changed Caracas from a quiet colonial city to a crowded, busy urban metropolis with constant traffic jams. Caracas has a few districts with buildings dating from its colonial period, which lasted from the 16th to the 19th century. Many of these historic structures are national landmarks, museums or homes of the wealthy. The middle of the city, near a park called the Plaza Bolivar, is especially rich in history. Old buildings in this area include the gold-domed Venezuelan Capitol, a historic cathedral, and City Hall.
The historic Winter Palace, completed in 1762 and is now part of the State Hermitage Museum, stands in the middle of the city of St Petersburg in Russia. The palace was the winter home of the Russian rulers, the Tsars. St Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, is Russia’s second largest city. Only Moscow, the capital, has a larger population. St Petersburg is a major Russian port. The city lays in northwestern Russia, at the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. St Petersburg was the first Russian city built in imitation of western European cities. Its magnificent palaces, handsome public buildings, and wide public squares resemble those of such cities as London, Paris, and Vienna.